Commercial insurance pricing up 19% through Q2: Marsh

Global commercial insurance pricing increased by 19% during Q2 2021, according to Marsh’s quarterly Global Insurance Market Index, marking the eleventh consecutive quarter of growth.

The increase, the largest since the index was launched in 2012, follows year-over-year average increases of 14% in the first quarter and 11% in the fourth quarter of 2019.

The Global Insurance Market Index is a proprietary measure of global commercial insurance premium pricing change at renewal that represents the world’s major insurance markets and comprises nearly 90% of Marsh’s premium.

As with the first quarter, the index found that average price increases were driven principally by increases in property insurance rates and financial and professional lines.

In particular, global property insurance was up 19% and global financial and professional lines were up 37%, while global casualty pricing was up 7% on average.

Marsh also reported that composite pricing in the second quarter increased in all geographic regions for the seventh consecutive quarter.

Geographically, the US, UK, Continental Europe, and Pacific regions all had double-digit pricing increases at 18%, 31%, 15% and 31%, respectively, mainly due to increases in property and directors and officers (D&O) coverages.

US public company D&O prices were up 59% on average, with more than 90% of clients experiencing an increase.

In the UK, D&O pricing increases averaged over 100%. A similar situation exists in Australia, where a lack of competition has resulted in capacity shortage.

“Overall, underwriters continue to push for higher levels of pricing increases due to the combined effects of social inflation pressures, persistently low yields, and a number of large underwriting losses, including from COVID 19,” Marsh stated, commenting on the results of the index.

“While capital remains adequate in most lines, insurers’ risk appetite is reduced as they are increasingly cautious in an uncertain environment,” it concluded.

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